The Bucklin High volleyball team has a very simple attack where each player knows what their job is to be part of the equation to succeed.
It has been that way all year long as the team has certain players for defense, certain ones for setting and two for attacking the opposing defense.
That mixture was the winning formula for the host- Lady Aces as they beat the top-seeded Spearville Lady Lancers in the title match of the Class 1A-Division I sub-state in three games (20-25, 25-19, 25-22) and a return trip to the state tournament next week at Fort Hays State University.
The attack was led by senior AJ Cossell and junior Morgan Hood, who recorded all but one of the kills for the Lady Aces (25-11) in the final. Cossell recorded 16 kills and two aces in the match while Hood had 14 kills and three blocks.
Spearville (31-6) led by scores of 7-2 and 12-5 in the third game, but the Lancers lost focus in serve receive and passing, going away from what pushed the team into the final.
Cody Offerle had 12 kills to lead the Lady Lancers, while Rachel Slattery recorded eight kills and four blocks in her final game of the season.
The Lady Aces overcame some early jitters after scoring seven of the first nine points of the match. Unforced errors allowed Spearville to get back in the first game and a seven-point run gave the Lady Lancers the early lead.
Slattery had six kills and two blocks for the Lancers in the game, while Hood had four kills and two blocks to lead Bucklin.
Bucklin again took the early lead in the second game before having Spearville push back to get within one point. This time, it was the Lancers who had the errors on their attacks as the Lady Aces used a late 9-3 run to even the match and have a deciding third game.
Cossell recorded seven kills and Hood five kills to lead Bucklin in the second game, while Offerle had six kills to lead Spearville.
The third game and the match basically went to the first team to score 11 points after the Lady Aces fought back and tied the game at 14-apiece due to the Spearville hitting errors. Janae Price and Kaysha Fonseca hit two aces apiece and Cossell recorded four kills in the final run to push Bucklin to the title.
Cossell had six kills and Hood five in the final game of the match. The Lady Lancers had five kills from Offerle to lead the final attack.
Spearville beat South Central in two games (25-7, 25-13) to reach the final game, while Bucklin beat Satanta in two games (25-14, 25-15) to play for the title. South Central beat Deerfield (25-10, 25-12) and Satanta beat Minneola (25-27, 25-18, 25-19) to reach the semifinals.
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In other volleyball action:
— The Dodge City High Lady Demons lost to Hutchinson in two games (25-22, 25-19) in the first round of one Garden City Class 6A sub-state tournament. The Lady Demons finished the season with a 15-22 record.
Hutchinson lost to Wichita Northwest in three games (19-25, 25-9, 25-20) in the sub-state final. Maize beat Garden City in two games (28-26, 25-12) in the other sub-state final.
— At the Meade Class 2A sub-state tournament: the top-seeded Kiowa County Mavericks beat the host-Buffaloes in two games (25-16, 25-13) to win the sub-state and a trip to the state tournament next week at Emporia's White Auditorium.
The Mavericks beat Syracuse (25-7, 25-4) and Elkhart (25-15, 25-10) to reach the final, while Meade beat Stanton County in two games (25-9, 25-22) and Hodgeman County in three games (21-25, 26-24, 25-18) to set the championship match.
— At the Rolla Class 1A-Division II sub-state tournament: The top-seeded Ingalls Bulldogs needed three games, but won their sub-state and will play in next week's state tournament at FHSU.
Ingalls (overcame a tough first game in the final match to beat Moscow in three games (24-26, 25-9, 25-16). Ingalls beat Rolla in two games (25-20, 25-21) and Moscow beat Ashland in two games (25-21, 26-24) to set up the final.
— At the Hoisington Class 3A sub-state tournament: Cimarron lost in the first round to Scott City in two games (26-24, 25-16). The host Cardinals beat Holcomb in the final match (25-15, 32-30) to win the match and play in the state tournament at Salina's Bicentennial Center.
Lakin beat Southwestern Heights in the first round (25-16, 25-14) and Holcomb beat Hays-Thomas More Prep (25-10, 25-8). Holcomb beat Scott City (25-20, 25-9) in one semifinal, while Hoisington beat Lakin (25-20, 25-20) to set up the final match pairing.
— At the St. John Class 1A-Division I sub-state tournament: Kinsley lost in two games to Macksville (25-16, 25-13) in the first round of the tournament. St. John, the defending state champion, beat Victoria in two games (25-16, 25-12) to get a chance to repeat.
— At the Wilson Class 1A-Division II sub-state tournament: Pawnee Heights lost to Sylvan-Lucas Unified in two games (26-24, 25-20) in the first round to end their season. Wilson, the host squad, beat Beloit-St. John in three games (25-21, 11-25, 25-23) to claim the ticket to the state tournament.